Aristotle, Marx, and the Ethical Implication of the Systemic Critique of Capitalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter elucidates the ethical implications of Marx’s critique of the system of capital accumulation via a critique of Neoclassical economics, its reliance on Pareto optimality, and their basis in Lionel Robbins’ characterization of the scope and object of economics. To that end, Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics and critique of economics as chrematistics through the lens of economics as good household management are discussed and shown to be important foundations for understanding Marx’s ethical system. Through a critical analysis of the two limitations of neoclassical economics and Pareto optimality — the sublimation of greed through the assumption of scarcity, and radical subjectivism — an Aristotelian informed interpretation of Marxist economics is developed, and its ethical implications illuminated. How students could benefit from studying Marxist economics and some learning activities are also indicated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Teaching Ethics to Economists: a plurality of perspectives
EditorsIoana Negru, Craig Duckworth, Imko Meyenburg
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781802207163
ISBN (Print)9781802207156
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2023


  • Marx, Aristotle, Virtue Ethics, Neoclassical Economics, Ethics


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